We all have an arsenal of products to make us look fabulous – and we're the first to admit that it's fun playing with the latest shades of eyeshadow, blush and gloss. When it all comes down to it, though, the most beautiful face is the one that needs the least amount of help from a makeup kit. To help you look as gorgeous as possible without a ton of products, we've put together some simple skincare tips for effortless, natural beauty.
There's more to washing your face than merely throwing some soap and water on it. The best way to cleanse your skin, especially at night, is to do it twice. The first round will dislodge surface sweat, dirt and some makeup while round two will ensure that all potentially pore clogging debris is long gone. Even if you feel like you've gotten every last speck of foundation or blush off with one wash, repeat in the evening to ensure your skin really is completely clean.
You've heard it before, but we're here to remind you that exfoliation is one of the most important skin care steps you can take towards healthy, glowing skin. If you skip this step, you're giving the dead skin cells a chance to clog pores and leave your skin looking dull and lackluster – not a look we recommend for anyone. Choose a formula best suited to your skin type and exfoliate at least once or twice a week. Your skin will be smoother and brighter just by taking the time to do a bit of scrubbing.
Water is king when it comes to keeping your skin looking supple and healthy. Dehydrated skin is pale, tight and dull, so drink up if you want your complexion to glow without the aid of luminizing foundation. We know it can be tough, but steer clear of sugary sodas and caffeine in favor of H20 jazzed up with a squeeze of citrus or a few slices of cucumber.
Hit the sack
You might be swamped with work or have so much on your plate that you can't even imagine sleeping more than a few hours a night, but trust us when we tell you sleep is important for not only your overall health but your complexion, too. We know you don't want dark circles, pale skin or puffy eyes, so do your best to get at least six hours of sleep every night. Your body, mind and face will thank you.
Say no to stress
Like lack of sleep, being constantly stressed can wreak havoc on your skin. Stress can mean more blemishes, more reactive skin and can even lead to rashes or other skin irritations. We can't tell your boss to lay off with the pile of work, but we can suggest taking time each evening to do something that calms you down. Go for a walk, hit a yoga class or soak in a hot bath – anything that takes your stress meter from high back to low before bed.
Get regular facials
Getting a facial every four to six weeks can make a big difference in your complexion. Think of it as a mini-retreat just for your face that helps erase all the anxiety, long days and longer nights from the past several weeks. Plus you'll get some real insight into what's going on with your skin and what it needs to look its best once you leave.
Touching your face is a complexion no-no. We all do it (even when we don't even know we're doing it), but try to be conscious enough about it that you can stop yourself as soon as your hands touch skin. We touch so many things in a day and no matter how much you wash your hands, touching your face means potentially getting all sorts of oil, debris and other icky stuff on it.
If you put two people side by side – one who lived on fast food and sugary snacks and the other who ate a rainbow of fresh fruit and vegetables – the one with the healthier, whole-food based diet would have a much healthier complexion, sans makeup. That's because what you eat has a profound effect on how you look and feel. Plus missing out on certain nutrients can cause dryness, redness and other skin issues.
You might not think exercising would have an effect on how your skin looks (you're hitting that treadmill hard so you look good on the beach), but the more you move, the healthier you'll be overall, including your skin. Plus working out gets your blood pumping giving you a natural, rosy glow – something that looks good on everyone.
How to make a homemade lemon & sugar exfoliator
Learn how to make your own gentle exfoliator with this tutorial.